If you’ve ever sautéed onions and garlic in olive oil when cooking homemade soup, those veggies were your “aromatics,” and your soup would have been pretty bland without them. Cuisines all over the world use different combinations of veggies and spices sautéed in a fat — such as olive oil, butter or ghee — to build their aromatic base, which helps make each dish so deliciously unique.
Cooking experts at Sobeys create delicious recipes featuring aromatic combinations from around the world, which can be found online at betterfoodforall.sobeys.com/inspiration. Here are some international inspired cuisines and how you can recreate them at home.
Italian. Also called soffritto, basic Italian aromatics combine carrots, onion, and celery. Veggies are finely chopped and cooked in oil until translucent (about 15 minutes) before being added to classic tomato sauces, soups and stews. Try this at home with an Easy Tomato & Basil Chicken Stew.
Indian. Many of the scrumptious dishes of India start with onion, chilies, garlic, and ginger cooked down in ghee (clarified butter) and enhanced by a wide range of ground spices. In the Chicken Tikka Masala recipe, chicken pieces are tossed around in the aromatics for maximum flavour while Tikka Masala cooking sauce takes the guesswork out of which spices to use.
Spanish. A sofrito is just the start of exciting Spanish stews and paellas. Sofrito starts simply with onions and garlic cooked until fragrant, then tomatoes are added and brought to a boil. The Sobeys family-friendly Spanish Chicken Rice recipe has chunks of chicken, rice and peas that simmer away in the aromatic base until all the liquid is absorbed. – NewsCanada